Dual Boot Ubuntu 16.04 LTS and Windows 10

Installing Ubuntu and Windows alongside each other is a great way to take full advantage of these two operating systems without sacrificing the compatibility of Windows, or the usability of Linux. This guide will work for previous versions of Windows and Ubuntu alike.

What you'll need:

  • A pre-existing Windows 10 installation OR Windows Installation Media (Windows 10 on a USB drive or a DVD)
  • Ubuntu 16.04 LTS Installation Media (Ubuntu Installation on a USB drive or a DVD)
  • Time and patience

No Existing Windows Installation

This section is for if you don't have an existing Windows installation. If you already have Windows 10 installed on your computer, skip down to Existing Windows Installation. We're going to be installing Windows first, then we'll install Ubuntu.

Insert your Windows Installation media and boot from it. Most computers will do this automatically when you reboot your computer. If yours does not, you may have to configure your Boot Priority settings in your BIOS.

You should be presented with the Windows loading screen. If you are presented with "Press any key to boot from USB/CD...", press any key on your keyboard to start the booting process.

Once your installation media loads, go ahead and select your language. Click "Next", then on the next page, "Install Now".

Insert your Windows product key, then click Next. If you don't have a product key, click "I don't have a product key".

You may or may not be presented with this screen. If so, select your preference then click "Next".

If you accept the terms, check the "I accept the license terms" checkbox then click "Next".

It is very important that you click "Custom Install Windows Only (Advanced)". This will allow us to create space for Ubuntu.

1: Click "New". If your hard drive has existing partitions on it, exit the installer and back up any existing important documents, files, music, and videos you may have saved on your hard drive. Then, boot back into the installer and select each partition, then click "Delete". This will delete all data on your hard drive.

2: Enter a new partition size. Typically, you should allocate a partition about half the size of your hard drive to make room for Ubuntu. If you want 100GB, You can use "100000" which is approximately 100GB.

3. Windows will notify you that extra partitions may be made for its system files. Click "OK".

Make sure the Primary partition is selected (it should be by default), then click "Next".

Windows will now install. Your computer may restart multiple times.

Once the installation is complete, you will be greeted with this screen. Go through the setup process, and when you finish, you will be presented with the Windows Desktop.

At this point you are ready to install Ubuntu.

Existing Windows Installation

If you already have an existing windows installation, you may need to allocate space for Ubuntu.

Open the Windows Start Menu, type "partition", and click "Create and format hard disk partitions".

You may have multiple partitions on your main hard drive where Windows is installed. Click the partition labeled "C:", right click it, then click "Shrink Volume...".

You are going to shrink your main Windows partition to make room for Ubuntu. You are going to want at least 15GB of space for Ubuntu. The number you input will vary on how much you can shrink your existing installation partition, and how much space you want for Ubuntu.

When the process finishes, you should have unallocated space on your hard drive. You are now ready to install Ubuntu.

Install Ubuntu

Insert your installation media then reboot your computer. Most computers will do this automatically boot from the installation media. If yours does not, you may have to configure your Boot Priority settings in your BIOS.

Once your Ubuntu installation media is loaded, you will be presented with this screen. Click "Install Ubuntu".

Tick the corresponding check boxes to your preferences, then click "Continue".

It is very important you select "Something Else". We Don't want to select "Install Ubuntu alongside Windows 10", as when Windows updates it may interfere with the Ubuntu installation. Click "Something else", then click "Continue".

Click "free space" then click on the plus icon on the bottom left.

For simplicity's sake, we're going to make one root partition that fills up the existing empty space. If you'd like, you can create other partitions to your preference.

We're going to leave all options default, except for Mount point. In the drop down menu, select "/". Then click "OK".

Once you're back at this screen, ensure the bootloader installation is set on the correct hard drive. Click "Install Now".

Ubuntu may warn you about not having a swap partition. For most people, this doesn't apply. It may increase performance in certain situations only if you have a large amount of RAM (8GB+). It's safe to click "Continue".

Ensure you've completed the steps correctly, then click "Continue".

The installer will now ask you questions based on your preference. Complete each setup screen.

Once you have completed the setup screens, Ubuntu will continue installing. This may take anywhere from a few minutes to multiple hours, depending on your hardware and internet speed.

Once the installation is completed, Ubuntu will notify you. Remove your installation media then reboot your computer.

You will be presented with the GRUB boot loader that presents your Ubuntu installation and your Windows installation. You can navigate this list by pressing the arrow keys.

Congratulations, you've successfully dual booted Windows 10 and Ubuntu 16.04 LTS!


ChrisW 3 months ago

Can one install Ubuntu on drive other than C.

mohit 2 months ago

my installation type doesn't show free space it's shows unusable space after shrinking C and it unable to click on plus icon..plz help

sothy 4 weeks ago


I tried same way. Nothing was there to show grub. It automatically goes into windwo 10. There is no grub avaialble. what can I do to see grub with window and Ubutun option?

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